The US Navy’s Strike Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX-23) has tested maritime augmented guidance with integrated controls for carrier approach and recovery precision enabling technologies aboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73).
Also known as Magic Carpet, the new technology is designed to streamline the aircraft carrier landing process and to offer safe, efficient and successful recovery of fixed-wing aircraft on-board aircraft carriers.
Naval Air Forces Commander vice admiral Mike Shoemaker said: "Magic Carpet is an evolutionary improvement in aircraft carrier landings.
"This technology innovation will ease pilot workload, improve overall recovery time and reduce tanker requirements.
"These significant changes will make naval aviation even more effective and efficient and improve the offensive capability of the carrier strike group."
Magic Carpet is expected to simplify the landing process for pilots, as the traditional carrier landing requires aligning the glide slope, angle of attack and the line up with several other adjustments to achieve a safe landing.
F/A-18 & EA-18G programme manager captain David Kindley said: "With the technology, we decoupled the glide slope, angle of attack and line up into three separate pieces.
"Before, if a pilot made one small change to any of these it would affect all the other things.
"With Magic Carpet, if the pilot wants to adjust glide slope, he just pushes the stick without changing the power or anything else."
An initial version of the technology was evaluated on-board the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), which according to the lead flight test engineer Kevin Teig was aimed at measuring the feasibility of the software and to incorporate further improvements.
Image: An F/A-18F Super Hornet during the testing of Magic Carpet on USS George Washington (CVN 73). Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Clemente A Lynch/Released.